Rebecca’s 2022-2023 season at a glance:
Engagements during 2022 / 2023 include Mother / Witch Hansel and Gretel for Mid Wales Opera, Wellgunde Götterdämmerung for Longborough Festival Opera, Blackford Pietà and Vaughan-Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with City of Bristol Choir, Elgar Sea Pictures at Truro Cathedral with Christopher Gray, Messiah on tour with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble with Christopher Moulds, Mozart Requiem in Tewkesbury Abbey, the world première of Looking West by Julian Philips & Rebecca Hurst for Nova Music Opera at Ryedale & Presteigne Festivals and Milton Court, London, with George Vass, Pergolesi Stabat Mater at the Cotswold Music Festival with Steven Devine, Tippett A Child of Our Time in Newcastle Cathedral, Verdi Requiem at Marlborough College, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and the world première of The Sky Engine by Richard Peat & Timothy Knapman at Jam on the Marsh Festival in July 2023 conducted by Michael Bawtree .
Born in Mid Wales, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones studied at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama & The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she was awarded the Independent Opera Scholarship, The WCOM Allcard Award, The MBF Sybil Tutton Award, became a Samling Artist and graduated with distinction. Whilst at the RCS, she sang Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, The Composer Ariadne auf Naxos (Rostov State Theatre, Russia), The Muse / Nicklausse Les contes d’Hoffmann and Maria Akhrossimova War and Peace. She began her career as a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist, making her professional debut in the title role of Carmen.
She made her company and role debut with Welsh National Opera as Countess Geschwitz Lulu, returning as an Associate Artist to sing roles including Anna Kennedy Maria Stuarda, Lola Cavalleria Rusticana, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, Beggar Woman Sweeney Todd and Flora Bervoix La traviata, as well as covering Sara Roberto Devereux and Fenena Nabucco. Elsewhere, her engagements have included Louhi Swanhunter for Opera North at The Linbury Theatre of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Suzuki Madama Butterfly for Festival Opera, New Zealand, Rosina The Barber of Seville for Opera Project, Prince Orlofsky Die Fledermaus for West Green House Opera, Olga Eugene Onegin for Grange Park Opera and Wellgunde Das Rheingold for Longborough Festival Opera.
She made her BBC Proms debut singing Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles, and her concert engagements have further included J. S. Bach Christmas Oratorio, Messiah and Mozart Requiem with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, de Falla The Three Cornered Hat and Mozart Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Dream of Gerontius with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, The Dream of Gerontius and Mendelssohn’s arrangement of Israel in Egypt with The Philharmonia Orchestra at The Three Choirs Festival, Messiah at The Usher Hall, Solomon with the Oxford Bach Choir, Haydn Nelson Mass, Beethoven Mass in C and St John Passion for St Alban’s Choral Society Mahler Symphony No. 2 at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Mendelssohn Elijah at Birmingham Town Hall, Mozart Mass in C Minor for Nottingham Festival Chorus, Mozart Requiem with Halifax Choral Society and the London Mozart Players, Ravel Schéhérazade for The Sinfonia of Leeds and Verdi Requiem with the City of Glasgow Chorus and at St David’s Cathedral Festival.
She made her debut at the St Magnus International Festival in 2018 and has also appeared at the Fishguard, North Wales, Presteigne and St Endellion Festivals in a wide range of repertoire including Duruflé Requiem, Elgar Sea Pictures and the première of Oliver Tarney’s St Mark Passion. Her contemporary credentials further include the world première of Edward Gregson’s Five Songs of Innocence and Experience, Kerstin in the world premiere of Joseph Phibbs’ Juliana at The Cheltenham Festival and Judith Weir’s The Consolations of Scholarship with the Berkeley Ensemble.
Her recordings include Kerstin in Joseph Phibbs’ Juliana, Messiah with the BBC Singers and the Norwegian Wind Ensemble conducted by David Hill and Hugh Wood’s Beginnings, all now available on Resonus Classics, the latter selected as a Sunday Times CD of the Week, and English Touring Opera’s Focus on Amadigi. For Welsh National Opera, she has recorded ‘Che faro senza Euridice’ from Orfeo ed Euridice and Judith Weir’s The Sleeping-Mat Ballad.
Engagements in 2021 / 2022 included Lucretia The Rape of Lucretia for New Palace Opera, Dardano Amadigi for English Touring Opera, Dorabella Così fan tutte for Saffron Opera Group, the B Minor Mass with Cheltenham Bach Choir, the St Matthew Passion and Macmillan Stabat Mater at the St Endellion Festival, Mendelssohn Die erste Walpurgisnacht and Fanny Hensel Hiob Cantata with the Crouch End Festival Chorus, The Fifth Continent with The Holst Singers at JAM on the Marsh, the premiere of Julian Philips’ Looking West at the Ryedale Festival (with a further performance at the Presteigne Festival) and Vaughan Williams Five Tudor Portraits with Britten Sinfonia.
Engagements during 2022 / 2023 currently include Mother / Witch Hansel and Gretel for Mid Wales Opera, Wellgunde Götterdämmerung for Longborough Festival Opera, Blackford Pietà with City of Bristol Choir, Elgar Sea Pictures in Truro Cathedral, Messiah on tour with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, Mozart Requiem in Tewkesbury Abbey, the world première of Looking West for Nova Music Opera, Pergolesi Stabat Mater at the Cotswold Music Festival, Tippett A Child of Our Time in Newcastle Cathedral and Verdi Requiem at Marlborough College.